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ERIC Number: ED502205
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use. Overview of Key Findings, 2007
Johnston, Lloyd D.; O'Malley, Patrick M.; Bachman, Jerald G.; Schulenberg, John E.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Since the mid-1960s, when illicit drug use burgeoned in the normal youth population, substance use by American young people has proven to be a rapidly changing phenomenon. Smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use are leading causes of morbidity and mortality, both during adolescence as well as later in life. How vigorously the nation responds to teenage substance use, how accurately it identifies the substance abuse problems that are emerging, and how well it comes to understand the effectiveness of policy and intervention efforts depend on the ongoing collection of valid and reliable data. Monitoring the Future (MTF), a long-term study of American adolescents, college students, and adults through age 45, is designed to generate such data in order to provide an accurate picture of what is happening in this domain and why, has been ongoing on an annual basis since its inception in 1975. In recent years, the trends in drug use have become more complex, as cohort effects, lasting differences between class cohorts that stay with them as they advance through school and beyond, have emerged. These effects result in the various grades reaching peaks or valleys in different years; thus, various age groups are sometimes moving in different directions at a given point in history. Cohort effects for cigarette smoking were observed throughout most of the life of the study, but such effects were much less apparent for illicit drugs until the past decade and a half. Eighth graders have been the first to show turnarounds in illicit drug use: they were the first to show an upturn in use in the early 1990s and the first to show a decline in use after 1996. They have generally shown the greatest proportional declines from recent peak levels of use, attained for the most part during the 1990s, while the proportional declines have generally been the least at 12th grade. A number of drugs showed modest continuing declines in use in 2007, although few of the one-year changes reached statistical significance. These included marijuana, and all of the stimulant drugs other than cocaine. Most of the other drugs held steady in their use in 2007, generally following decreases in their use in prior years. Only the ecstasy (MDMA) class of drugs under study showed any sign of increase in use in 2007. A synopsis of the design and methods used in the study and an overview of the key results from the 2007 survey are included, followed by sections for each individual drug class, providing figures that show trends in the overall proportions of students at each grade level (1) using the drug; (2) seeing a "great risk" associated with its use; (3) disapproving of its use; and (4) saying that they think they could get it "fairly easily" or "very easily" if they wanted to. The years for which data on each grade are available are 1975-2007 for 12th graders and 1991-2007 for 8th and 10th graders. Tables at the end of the report provide the statistics underlying the figures, and present data on lifetime, annual, 30-day, and (for selected drugs) daily prevalence. (Contains 6 footnotes, 17 figures, and 13 tables.) [For 2006 overview, see ED497304.]
National Institute on Drug Abuse. 6001 Executive Boulevard Room 5213, Bethesda, MD 20892-9561. Tel: 301-443-1124; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 12; Grade 8; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A